PRO BASKETBALL—ABA: No halfway measures for Utah: no sooner had the Stars run their impressive winning streak to 14 straight by dumping Carolina 121-110 than they shifted into reverse, losing three games by an average of 15 points. The youthful San Diego Qs shot them down 109-97, San Antonio beat them 123-102 and Kentucky fried the Utahans 108-96. Still leading the West by 10½ games, Utah could afford such earthly failings. Meanwhile, San Antonio fell to Indiana 107-102 and yielded second place to the surging Pacers, who won four of five. In the East, lowly Virginia surprised Kentucky 118-113 as Jim Eakins hit a pro high of 41 points. The Squires continued to earn respect in the league by hanging tough before losing a 115-101 rematch to Kentucky and to Indiana 108-101. New York still led Virginia by 19 games, but the Nets lost to last-place Memphis 102-97 and saw their lead over Kentucky shrink to two games, with Carolina 2½ further back.
NBA: Despite spending much of the game on the bench with stomach pains, Detroit's Bob Lanier managed to give the Lakers a few aches of their own in the fourth quarter by scoring 16 points and wrapping up a 112-110 victory. Two nights later the Pistons snapped Capital's five-game win streak 84-83, and finished the week with a 119-107 triumph over Phoenix as Lanier received strong support from Dave Bing and Chris Ford. At week's end Detroit trailed Midwest leader Milwaukee by four games and Chicago by 1½—but led Los Angeles in the race for the wild-card playoff berth by nine games. In the Eastern wild-card contest Buffalo held the ace in Bob McAdoo, and was six games up on Atlanta for the playoff spot. McAdoo scored 38, 36 and 29 points in decisive wins over Houston 135-118, Milwaukee 145-109 and New York 119-97, but his 52-point effort against Boston was not enough to stop a 116-109 Celtic victory. Buffalo remained a distant third behind the Celtics and the Knicks in the Atlantic Division. Capital, pacesetter in the Central, beat Boston 99-95 but lost All-Star Guard Phil Chenier because of a pulled hamstring early in the week. Bullet Reserve Guard Kevin Porter scored a pro high 28 points in the very next game, adding 12 assists and leading Capital past Portland 116-101. But nothing prevented later Bullet losses to Detroit and Cleveland. In the Pacific Division, Golden State continued to make do without the injured Nate Thurmond by winning four of six, and opened a two-game lead on fading Los Angeles.
GOLF—LEONARD THOMPSON scored his first victory in three years on the pro tour, shooting a 4-under-par 68 in the final round of the $260,000 Jackie Gleason Inverrary Classic at Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (page 18).
HOCKEY—NHL: It was Esposito Week and all was well in both Boston and Chicago. Older brother Phil of the Bruins knocked off his 1,000th career point (an assist) in the East leader's 4-2 victory over Vancouver. The big center then rolled on to score three more goals and lift his year's total to 50 as the Bruins tied Minnesota 5-5. Younger brother Tony, the Black Hawks' goalie, lived up to the family name by shutting out the New York Islanders 4-0, stopping Toronto 4-1 and blanking California 3-0 for his 10th shutout of the year and his fifth in eight games. Then Tony held Philadelphia scoreless until the last 26 seconds of the game as the Hawks won 3-1 and climbed to within two points of the first-place Flyers in the West. Down in the trenches, meanwhile, Atlanta whipped Minnesota 5-3 and moved into a third-place tie with St. Louis. Los Angeles salvaged a bad week with a 4-4 tie against Montreal and stayed within four points of St. Louis, Atlanta and a West playoff spot. In the East the New York Rangers won three straight while rookie Jerry Butler made like an Esposito with four goals and an assist. The Rangers trailed second-place Montreal by four points. Fourth-place Toronto won two of four with a revived Paul Henderson contributing five goals and five assists. The Maple Leafs led Buffalo by eight points for the last playoff spot. The Sabres dedicated the rest of their season to Defenseman Tim Horton, who was killed in a car crash on Thursday.
March 3, 1974
WHA: Minnesota's Fighting Saints staged a decisive 6-1 attack on Houston, shutting off the West leader's winning streak at seven games, then finished the week by conquering Quebec 6-4 for the Saints' 11th victory in their last 13 games. Despite these surges they still trailed Houston by 12 points. Meanwhile, the Aeros rebounded to whip New Jersey 7-2 and Edmonton 5-2—and Gordie Howe moved into the WHA scoring lead with two goals and two assists. Fourth-place Edmonton beat Winnipeg 4-1. Then the Jets' Bobby Hull rallied his club to a 4-3 edge over Toronto, scoring his 40th goal of the year, and third-place Winnipeg led Edmonton by three points. In the East, first-place New England solidified plans to move from the Boston Garden to Hartford, Conn. On the ice the Whalers won two of three and led Toronto by two points, Quebec by five and Cleveland by seven.
MOTOR SPORTS—Richard Petty's seven-race hold on the Richmond 500 was finally broken. BOBBY ALLISON drove his Chevrolet to a three-second victory at Fairgrounds Raceway, clocking an average 80.391 mph for the $6,330 first-place purse.
PRO TRACK—STEVE SMITH and ROD MILBURN remained unbeaten in their specialties as the ITA circuit played Salt Lake City, Utah and Pocatello, Idaho. Smith first cleared 18'1" for the highest pole vault ever recorded indoors—then, next night, did 18'1¾". Milburn ran the fastest-ever 60-yard indoor hurdles (6.7) for his third straight win. And BEN JIPCHO won his sixth in a row with a 3:40.7 in the 1,500 to hand newly signed Dave Wottle his second defeat in as many nights.
SKIING—EAST GERMANY deposed Russia as the dominant force in Nordic skiing at the FIS World Championships in Falun, Sweden. GERHARD GRIMMER won the men's 50-kilometer race, the meet's final event, to give the East Germans their 11th medal, five of them gold. Russia's GALINA KULAKOVA anchored the women's relay team to victory in the 20-kilometer event, her third gold of the championships. Russia's final medal count was three gold, one silver, three bronze.
SOCCER—STOKE CITY downed Leeds United 3-2 to derail Leeds' 29-game winning streak in the English Soccer League. It was the second defeat for Leeds in five days. BRISTOL CITY had eliminated the club 1-0 from English Football Association Cup competition.
SPEED SKATING—ATJE KEULEN-DEELSTRA, 35-year-old Netherlands housewife and mother of three, won her fourth women's world speed-skating championship—sweeping the 1,000-, the 1,500- and the 3,000-meter events. Sheila Young of Detroit, who had captured the 500 meters and led after the first day of competition, faded to fourth overall.
TENNIS—JIMMY CONNORS overwhelmed South Africa's Frew McMillan 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 to win $9,000 and the U.S. National Indoor Championships in Salisbury, Md. Connors now has four wins in five starts on the USLTA indoor circuit (page 74).
TRACK & FIELD—World records were not the strict province of Americans FRANCIE LARRIEU, who took 32.6 seconds off the women's indoor two-mile standard with a 9:39.4, in San Diego and TONY WALDROP (page 65). In Warsaw, HENRYK SZORDYKOWSKI of Poland set a world indoor mark for the 1,000 meters with a 2:20, besting Tom Von Ruden's 1971 time of 2:20.4. And Belgium's ALFONS BRIDENBACH ran 45.9 in the 400 meters at the International Students championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, breaking Marcello Fiasconaro's indoor mark by .2 second. And in Vittel, France EMIEL PUTTEMANS of Belgium sped to world indoor records in the men's three-mile and the 5,000 meters. Puttemans, the Olympic bronze medalist in the 10,000, was clocked in 13:05.2 in the three-mile on the way to a 5,000-meter win of 13:30.8, besting Merus Yifter's mark by 3.4 seconds.
MILEPOSTS—NAMED: As coach of the NHL California Seals, Defenseman MARSHALL JOHNSTON, 32, replacing Fred Glover, who resigned after the sale of the Seals by Charles O. Finley to the NHL.
RESIGNED: As Duquesne basketball coach, JOHN (Red) MANNING, to become the school's athletic director. In 15 seasons Manning compiled a 235-126 record.
SIDESTEPPED: To chairmanship of the Physical Education Department, Columbia University Basketball Coach JACK ROHAN, 42, who assembled a 13-year record of 154-159 and led the 1967-68 Lion team to an Ivy championship.
DIED: TIM HORTON, 44, defenseman for the NHL Buffalo Sabres, of multiple injuries suffered when his car crashed near St. Catharines, Ontario. Horton was returning to Buffalo from a game in Toronto, his 1,446th NHL appearance since entering the league in 1950. The bulwark of the Toronto defense for 18½ years, he helped the Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup four times, was a first-team All-Star three times and on the second team three times. Horton played for New York and Pittsburgh before moving to Buffalo, where his teammates voted him Sabre MVP last year.